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Poker Mastery vs Overload, Push/Fold & 50/50 SNG’s | Q&A | #52


Sky Matsuhashi

on April 8, 2016

I answer 3 listener Q’s about mastery vs overload regarding poker study and strategy, push/fold strategy and playing 50/50 SNG’s.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


Poker Mastery vs Overload, Push/Fold & 50/50 SNG’s | Q&A | #52

Question 1 from Reuben (2:12)

I like to play sitngoes mostly 1 table 9 man SNG’s. I also like the fifty fifty was wondering if you played the fifty fifty sitngoes before and if you had any pointers to cash more in those type of games.

  • They're similar to DON's (double or nothings) but you get paid based on your chip stack once 5 players are eliminated.
  • So there is an incentive to accumulate chips, whereas in DON’s it’s all about hanging on to the bubble until that 6th player busts.
  • When you’re on the bubble in a 50/50, pick on the medium stacks who fear busting, and look out for the short stacks who will 3bet shove resteal to accumulate chips.  Also, look out for the big stack stations who will call shoves w/K9o.
  • Treat these like you normal SNG bubbles where there’s incentive to not bust but to accumulate chips at the same time.

Question 2 from William (4:25)

Hey Sky, I'm loving the podcast and I'm consuming 2 or 3 a day, I'm loving the content and it's making poker easier to study and more enjoyable to play.
At the moment I'm trying to add short stack tournament play into my game, I'm mainly a LIVE cash player, but I'm trying to add more tournaments to my schedule. One of my biggest weaknesses that I'm trying to improve on is shoving and calling ranges from a 25/20/15/10/5bb stack. It's a lot of information and I'm using an app called Snap Shove to get better with these ranges, the app has a cool training feature where it places you in different scenarios where you either shove or fold and it tells you if you’re correct or not. Maybe you could do a podcast on short stack ranges. Another area I struggle with is when you have a short stack and would shove if it is folded to you but it gets raised in front of you, I get lost in those scenarios.

  • In Q&A episode #48 I discussed a program called HoldemResources Calculator and in the show notes you can find a video that my study partner Dennis created that highlighted how he used the program for push/fold study.
  • Get the 2 week free trial of HRC and give it a spin to see what hands you can profitably shove with at different stack sizes and call shoves with.
  • Take notes on what you discover and try to find the most common “cut-off” hands for shoving at certain stack sizes and calling at certain stack sizes.

Question 3 from Richard (8:15)

I have an issue where the more I learn, the more fishy I become!  I have a hard time applying what I know. I need a system to wake myself up!

  • This is a problem of mastery vs overload from learning too many strategies that you're not yet able to put together into one cohesive strategy.
  • You need to nail down one topic at a time, and before you move on to the next, think about what would be the next logical step from what you just studied.
  • Plan your studies ahead of time so you naturally flow from one topic to the next so your skills can build gradually and you use lots of the skills just learned in the next topic.
  • Don't succumb to the “shiny object syndrome” (where something new catches your eye and you just have to follow it).
  • Strive for Mastery!

Challenge (11:40)

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode:  Make a plan for the next 4 weeks of study, at one topic per week.  Start with whatever your current focus is right now.  Brainstorm 7 areas of study within that one topic and follow one of these each day.  Do the same for weeks 2-4, and make sure your topics relate to the previous one so you can bring what you’ve already studied to the next week.  Email me your 4 topics and I’ll give you a shout-out on the podcast for being a Poker Study Challenge Master.


Sky Matsuhashi

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